BTCC » 27 August 2012
Declan Jones in podium double at Knockhill
Chicago Soft and The London Perfume Company Limited-backed youngster adds to his silverware collection
Liverpool-based teenager Declan Jones enjoyed a successful outing at Knockhill last weekend in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and came away with another two podium finishes.
The 17-year-old, who is the youngest competitor in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and who hadn't competed in his Century Motorsport-run Ginetta G50 since his debut event at Oulton Park back in June, was immediately back on the pace on Friday in testing and despite missing the events at Croft and Snetterton, was right up with the regular G50 drivers.
Indeed in qualifying he finished up 13th overall and a highly encouraging third in class, thanks to a 53.915 second lap, which left him only a tenth or so off the fastest G50 time.
“We went into the weekend very positive,” Declan said. “Obviously the times were very close between me and [Mark] Davies on Friday in testing and qualifying was even closer again. There was just a tenth between me and Davies – and [Rob] Gaffney was in the middle, and he was like three or four hundredths up on me. It was very, very tight.”
Declan then ran well in the opening 16-lap race and while conditions were wet and slippery, he made the most of a good start, eventually coming home tenth overall and second in class, his best result to date.
“In the opening race I got a fantastic start. I wanted to get past Gaffney as quick as I could because I was keen to be able to get at Davies. But Mark got a better start than me and then I got held up by a couple of G55 drivers. By the time I got by, Mark had pulled out a little bit on me. We literally then 'levelled out' and were just matching each other,” Declan explained. “I was glad to get second though. It was one better than last time at Oulton Park and another step forward.”
Race two also culminated in a podium, and while Declan got pushed off at the start, he made the most of the safety car period and then enjoyed a good scrap with Reece Somerfield late on for the final place on the G50 podium, eventually passing him at the hairpin with just two laps to go.
“Race two was a bit eventful. At the start it was a little bit damp and I got squeezed wide and off the track. I also had a bit of a tangle a few laps later with another car, but then the safety car came out,” Declan recalled. “At the re-start Somerfield had a mishap at the hairpin and locked up and went off. That got me third and I started to push it really, really hard to close up on Gaffney. But the steering was out after the problems earlier on and I made a mistake going through the chicane and dropped back to fourth. Then I had to pull it back and so, I pushed and pushed and had a good battle with Somerfield. That was good fun.”
Unfortunately, however, Declan was deprived of the chance to go for another rostrum in the third race, as Tom Ingram stalled at the start and he was caught up in the ensuing chaos.
Tagged as: Ginetta , Ginetta G50 , Knockhill , Rockingham , Michelin , Declan Jones , Kelvin Jones , Chicago Soft , V de V , The London Perfume Company Limited , Century Motorsport , Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup , Ginetta G55
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